DOSS, Azariah, of Bedford Co VA and Monroe Co KY

Azariah Doss was born near Pigg River, in Halifax County, Virginia, [now Pittsylvania County] about 1754, the son of Zachariah and Elizabeth Ann (Atkinson) Doss. He died in Jan 1825 in Monroe Co KY.[1]

            About 1778 Azariah married Lydia Ann Ayres, daughter of James and Hannah Ayres.[2] A few years later, Lydia’s sister Hannah Ayres married Azariah’s brother Joel Doss. And on 1 Dec 1792 in Bedford Co VA, another sister, Rachel Ayres, married Richard Turner, whose brother Wilson married Lydia and Azariah’s daughter Elizabeth Doss.[3]

            Lydia Ann Ayres was born in Virginia 13 May 1758 and died in Adairville, Logan Co KY, 13 Jan 1831.

            In addition to Joel who married Azariah’s sister-in-law, probable brothers were Zaccheus (deeds 1778, 1779-wife Mary in the second), Stephen (deeds, 1782, 1783), James (survey, 1780), and Edward (deed, 1794-wife Mary), Micajah (married Mary Swain in 1792) and several others.

            Azariah appears in various court records, Bedford Co VA 1784-1786, Bk 8, p 11, 64, 77, 107, 145, 189; 1795-1799, Bk 11, p 144; 1808-1811, Bk 15, p 35. Madonna (Doss) McCarthy, who sent me most of my Doss data, calls him “a fighting fool.” He was charged with feloniously burning John Hurt’s tobacco house, remanded for trial, 9 Mar 1809, Bk 15, p 48.

            The following information about his Revolutionary War pension was found at “My father Izariah Doss a native of Virginia, served as a soldier enlisted in the Army of Gen. Washington, was promoted to a captaincy of a Whig company, to oppose the Tories in North Carolina. Was subsequently engaged in South Carolina, against the British, at the Cowpens, Camden, Eutaw Springs and elsewhere, and at the capture of Cornwallis at Yorktown in Virginia. On his arrival at Elizabethtown, Kentucky, he made proposals to Cad. Churchwell and Mr. Percival, to draw his pension, but never received anything to the knowledge of my father in family. My father died in Monroe County near Tomkinsville, Kentucky, in January 1825, and my mother in Russellville, Ky, in 1831. Neither of them ever applied for or received a pension.

“So far as my knowledge extends, my brother George Washington Doss and myself are the only surviving representatives of my fathers family.

            Lydia Ann Hynes.

            “P.S. This letter is intended to be sent to Mount Vernon, another of the same date and purport to be placed in the Post Office, Blairsville, Posey County, Indiana to either of which places … will be very acceptable.”

Sent to Washington, D.C. from Posey Co IN, dated December 16, 1849.[4]

            Azariah is recorded as the father at several of his children’s marriages, but as surety instead of father at Elizabeth’s, the ancestor of this writer, who was probably already of age. She was likely the oldest child. There were other Dosses in Bedford County, but by the time of Elizabeth’s marriage, he and Joel, a brother and the husband of Hannah (Ayres) Doss, appear to be the only ones left. Azariah appears on an 1810 tax list, Pittsylvania Co VA: 101.

            Much of the following information and especially the footnotes are from Nathan W Murphy, op cit. The probable children of Azariah and Lydia are:

1. Elizabeth DOSS[5] was born on 30 Jun 1779 in Bedford Co VA. Elizabeth died near Bremen, Muhlenberg Co KY, on 8 Sep 1844. On 12 Apr 1796 when Elizabeth was about 16, she married Wilson TURNER Sr, son of Elijah TURNER & Sarah –?–, in Bedford Co VA. Born in 1776 in VA, Wilson died in Franklin Co VA, on 27 Aug 1827. They had the following children:

                        i.            Greenville Person (1797-1877)

                        ii.            Lucinda (ca1800-)

                        iii.            Sarah A

                        iv.            Wilson C Jr (ca1804-)


2. James Ayres DOSS was born ca 1782 in VA. James Ayres died in Macon Co TN, on 31 Aug 1858. On 15 Aug 1804 James married Sarah HUNDLEY in Pittsylvania Co VA. Born ca 1786 in VA, Sarah died in Macon Co TN, in May 1880. James was a soldier during the War of 1812 and his widow Sally drew pension in her later years while residing at Lafayette, Macon County, Tennessee. She states that he had blue eyes and light hair. About the year 1820 James came with his brother and parent to Hardin Co. KY and by 1824 he was settled in Smith Co. TN. That part of Smith Co is now in Macon Co. TN. It is believed that James had about ten children, but only seven are known.[6] They had the following children:

                        i.            Elizabeth (ca1805-)

                        ii.            Joel L (1806-)

                        iii.            Berry R (ca1811-)

                        iv.            Gabriel M (ca1819-)

                        v.            Nancy (ca1822-)

                        vi.            Alfred (ca1824-)

                        vii.            Lydia Ann (1827-)

                        viii.            Azariah (ca1829-)


3. Hannah DOSS was born ca 1784.[7] Hannah died in Pittsylvania Co VA. Her son James Leftwich Doss has been shown with yDNA to be the son of James Leftwich of Bedford County.

                         i. James Leftwich Doss (ca 1804-1863)

On 1 Jul 1811 when Hannah was 27, she married William HUNDLEY in Bedford Co VA. William was born about 1780 in Bedford Co VA. They had the following children:

                        ii.          Farminaty (ca1815-)

                        iii.       Permelia (ca1821-)     


4. Stephen DOSS was born ca 1786 in Bedford Co VA.[8] He died in Hardin Co KY, in 1818. On 7 Jan 1809 when Stephen was 23, he married Permelia CUNDIFF in Bedford Co VA. They had the following children:

                        i.            John A (ca1816-1872)

                        ii.            Greenberry

                        iii.            Elisha S


5. Azariah DOSS was born ca 1788 in VA. Azariah died in Logan Co KY, on 23 Sep 1848. On 23 Dec 1811, he first married Cealy HATCHER in Bedford Co VA. Born in 1790 in Bedford Co VA, Cealy died in Pittsylvania Co VA. They had the following children:

                        i.            William (1814-)

                        ii.            James (1821-)


On 24 Feb 1829 when Azariah was 41, he second married Nancy CUNDIFF, daughter of John Henry CUNDIFF & Sarah AYRES, in Logan Co KY. She was born on 28 Aug 1799 in VA. Probably both of Azariah Jr’s children died young, since he left his estate to a nephew and an apprenticed worker.[9]


6. John A DOSS was born ca 1790 in Bedford Co VA. John died in Muhlenburg Co KY, in 1840.[10] He first married a wife whose identity is not now known. John and this wife had the following children:

                        i.            John J (1824-)

                        ii.            Bushrod Washington (1827-)


About 1834 when John A was 44, he second married Nancy Ann WHITEHOUSE. Born in of Muhlenberg Co KY. They had the following children:

                        i.            James P (ca1835-)

                        ii.            George Washington (1839-)

                        iii.            Lydia Ann (1841-)


7. Gabriel DOSS was born ca 1794 in VA. Gabriel died in Posey Co IN, before 1850. In 1825 when Gabriel was 31, he married Charity HYNES in Muhlenberg Co KY. She was born on 10 Mar 1807 or 1799 in Muhlenberg Co KY, the daughter of William Hardy Hynes Sr and his wife Sarah. Charity died in Posey Co IN. They had the following children:

                        i.            Azariah (1827-)

                        ii.            Julia

                        iii.            Sarah Ann (1830-)

                        iv.            Louisa (ca1834-)

                        v.            Gabriel (ca1836-)


8. Lydia Ann DOSS was born in 1797 in VA. Lydia Ann died in Benton Co MO, in Oct 1857.[11] On 25 Dec 1812 when Lydia Ann was 15, she first married James ADAMS in Bedford Co VA. He was born ca 1781 in Bedford Co VA. After marrying two more times, James died in Franklin Co MO, on 8 Apr 1865. They were divorced and had one child:

                        i.            Jabez (1813-1876)


On 9 Aug 1828 when Lydia Ann was 31, she second married William Hardy HYNES Jr in Muhlenberg Co KY. Born in 1803 in NC, he was a brother of Charity Hynes, who married Lydia Ann’s brother Gabriel. They had no known children.


9. George Washington DOSS was born about 1802 in Bedford Co VA. George died in St Louis MO or Camden Co MO, on 29 Dec 1861 or 9 Mar 1862. About 1822 when George W was 20, he first married Sarah HOWARD in KY. They had the following children:

                        i.            James A (1831-ca1831)

                        ii.            Hannah P (Edward)

                        iii.            Lydia Ann Ellen (ca1836-)

                        iv.            George William (ca1838-)

                        v.            Seth B (ca1840-)


On 23 May 1847 when George W was 45, he second married Sarah Minerva SHULL in Benton Co MO. She was born ca 1828 in Indiana. They had the following children:

                        i.            John Hamilton (ca1848-)

                        ii.            Sarah Ellen (ca1849-)

                        iii.            Bushrod Palistine (1852-)

                        iv.            Burr Emerson (1854-)

                        v.            William Wiley (ca1859-)

                        vi.            Stephen A (1860-)



© 2008, Kathy Alvis Patterson


[1] Nathan W Murphy, Descendants of Azariah Doss and His Wife, Lydia (Ayres) Doss, David W. Murphy & Associates, 1998.

[2] Will probated Jul 24 1797, Bedford Co VA, mentions daughters Hannah Ayres and Lydia Ayres, 1 shilling sterling and no more. His wife, Hannah Ayres, also left a will in Bedford Co VA in 1810. In addition to the ten daughters mentioned in her husband’s will, she refers to her son James. There were other sons as well, but they must have already received their shares. Her daughters’ married names were: Mary Morris, Dinah [25 Nov 1751-29 Jul 1822, m George Somer Cundiff], and Sarah Cundiff, Hannah and Lydia Doss, Elizabeth Williams, Nancy Halligan, Esther Henry, Rachel Turner and Ruth Leftwich [m 29 Dec 1795, William Leftwich Jr].

[3] 12 Apr 1796, Bedford Co VA, see below.

[4] See also John Hastings Gwathmey, Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution: soldiers, sailors and marines, 1775-1783, Richmond, VA: The Dietz Press, 1938. Compilation includes previous works by Eckenrode and McAllister with records from US War Department and others, p 232.

[5] I have good circumstantial evidence including the marriage record in Bedford County, Virginia to place Elizabeth Doss as the daughter of Azariah and Lydia (Ayres) Doss.

            First, I believe that it was a rule in Virginia at this time that brides marry in the county where their parents lived (not so for grooms). The only eligible males in Bedford Co VA to have been her father at the time of her marriage were Azariah and Joel Doss, brothers (both of whom were Revolutionary War Soldiers by the way) who had settled there years previously and married Ayres sisters. Joel’s children are pretty well accounted for and seem to have all moved to Pulaski Co KY together. Elizabeth does not seem to fit into this group. On the other hand, she would fit as being a daughter of Azariah Doss who signed the surety for the marriage.

            Second, the fact that Elizabeth married into the same Turner family that the Ayres family did (in-laws of both Azariah and Joel Doss). Wilson Turner had a brother named Richard Turner who married the sister of Lydia & Hannah Ayres (wives of Azariah & Joel Doss) and in many difficult areas to research in my personal family tree, this has been a great indicator of where the person fits in with others of their surname, when they are seen intermarrying with the same families.

            Third, the fact that Elizabeth moved to Muhlenberg Co KY after her husband Wilson’s death in Franklin Co VA. There several children of Azariah and Lydia (Ayres) Doss had been established for a decade as the only Doss family in Muhlenberg County. They included Azariah Doss Jr, George Washington Doss, Gabriel Doss, Mrs. Lydia Ann (Doss) Hines, John A. Doss, and Joel L Doss (son of James A Doss). It would seem very appropriate that she settle where her relatives lived after being widowed. It must be noted; however, that one of her other main motives was to accompany her youngest son, Wilson C Turner, to obtain his wife’s inheritance to her grandfather, John Noffsinger’s estate which was near the Bremen area of Muhlenberg Co KY, but I think if she knew that her relatives lived in the area that could’ve helped to motivate her in her move to Muhlenberg Co KY at ca age 55. This land lied [sic] about 10-15 miles from the Pond Creek area where the other Dosses lived. I have not, however, seen any connection between the Turners and Dosses in Muhlenberg County records, but I would not say that that discounts the probability of the Dosses as her siblings.

            I hope I’ve been of help.             Sincerely,

            Nathan W. Murphy

[6] This is information from Nathan Murphy’s book. According to David Murphy, there is an old chancery court case that identifies the children of Elizabeth’s in Illinois as heirs of James A. Doss when he died in 1858.

[7] Azariah Doss acted as surety. This record does not state that Azariah Doss was her father. No record has been found to substantiate that claim; however, indirect evidence does point to Azariah Doss being her father. First, the given name “Hannah” occurred in the Doss family, as Azariah’s mother-in-law was named Hannah (the wife of James Ayres), and the younger Hannah may have been a namesake for her grandmother. Second, Azariah Doss acted as surety for her marriage, showing probable relationship. Third, Hannah married William Hundley from neighboring Pittsylvania Co VA. William was the brother of Sarah Hundley (wife of James A. Doss, proven son of Azariah and Lydia (Ayres) Doss), and of Pittsylvania County. This connection could explain how that the two families (Doss and Hundley) knew one another, as both were from separate counties and distanced from each other in a time and place where it was normal for the majority of people to marry someone who lived within a few miles of their home, due to lack in technological advances in transportation. If this were the case, then the popular custom of their time, two siblings from one family marrying two siblings from another family, is herein exemplified. Fourth, there were no other Doss families residing in Bedford County at the time when Hannah was married, pointing to the fact that she was probably the daughter of a family who lived in the area (Azariah Doss). Lastly, another record has been discovered linking Hannah Doss, William Hundley, and Azariah Doss. Bedford County, Virginia Court Order Book 15, pp. 48-49, dated 9 March 1809, reveals that John Leftwich, Hannah Doss, Jonah Dobyns, and William Hundley testified on behalf of Azariah Doss in a criminal court case. The Leftwich family intermarried with the Ayres and Cundiff families (in-laws of Azariah Doss), and it seems likely that the others listed were likewise relatives or neighbors of Azariah Doss.

[8] Direct evidence has not been located that states Stephen Doss was the son of Azariah Doss, however, several pieces of indirect evidence help to establish this relationship. First, as one follows the number of taxable white males in the household of Azariah Doss in the Personal Property Tax Lists of Bedford County, Virginia, it is noted that Stephen Doss makes his first appearance the same year that one taxable white male disappears from the household of Azariah Doss. This is fairly strong evidence that Azariah was his father, as no other Doss families were living in Bedford County, Virginia when Stephen reached adulthood, and became an independent tax payer. Second, around the same time period that Stephen died (1818) in Hardin County, Kentucky, his parents and siblings moved from Virginia to Hardin County. They may have been helping to settle the estate of their son who predeceased them. Third, Stephen was a common given name in Azariah Doss’s family. He had a brother named Stephen, after whom this younger Stephen may have been named. Lastly, Azariah Doss’s children and in-laws intermarried several times with the Cundiff family of Bedford County, Virginia, and Stephen Doss married a Cundiff, placing him within this similar group of Dosses. The following statement was made by Azariah’s great-grandson, Jabez Adams, in 1907: “The Dosses have scattered from Virginia and are numerous in many states. Many of them married my mother’s people: Cundiffs.” In conclusion, the indirect evidence points to Azariah Doss and Lydia (Ayres) Doss, his wife, as being the parents of Stephen Doss.

[9] Azariah Doss, will of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky dated September 22, 1845. To wife Nancy Doss and at her decease, property is to be divided between nephew Bushrod Washington Doss and James Thomas who was bound as an apprentice to the deceased on November 9, 1836. Witnesses: Charles Morehead and John Morehead. Proven October County Court 1848. Book III, page 92-93.

[10] Court Orders, Vol. IV, Muhlenberg Co KY, 27 April 1840. Azariah Doss app. [appointed] gdn. [guardian] to Bus[h]rod W. Doss, orp. [orphan] of John A. Doss, dec’d [deceased] with Eli Fortney & Lewis Watkins his sec. & they also app. [appointed] him gdn. [guardian] to John J. Doss, orp. [orphan] of John A. Doss, dec’d [deceased].

[11] From Missouri Pioneers, Vol XVIII (Mar 1975), page 105: “Hines, Lydia Ann, formerly Lydia Ann Doss, born in 1797 in VA, was married to James Adams. They migrated to KY. There she married Wm H Hines and moved to IN, after which they came to MO. After death of Mr Hines, she lived on farm of her son, Jabez Adams, and practiced medicine with considerable success. She died at the house of her brother, G W Doss, in Oct 1857, and was brought home and buried November 1st. Mr J L Burchard minister/deceased information from St Louis Christian Advocate, M C Church South.”

Published on October 5, 2008 at 4:14 am  Comments (8)  

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  1. Would love to communicate with you regarding James Adams who married Lydia Ann Doss and they had 1 son Jabez Adams 1813-1876. This is my mother’s father’s family. I am especially interested in the Adams line.
    Thanks so very much for the anticipated response.

  2. Truman B Doss who lived, worked and died in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky met Eileen Blake whilst serving in the US Army in England. On his return to the USA he told his family about her and his new baby daughter. He never saw them again but in early 2004 the daughter made contact with his family via help from genealogist Helen Doss. She now lives in Spain and is in regular contact with her siblings having visited Kentucky on several occasions following in the footsteps of her ancestors. On her first visit she kept a journal and has turned this into a book but has never attempted to have it published.

    • I Donald Ray Doss Greenville ky.. was the one that Helen Doss contacted MANY times by e-mail and phone before my family meet our sister olive Trunes Davis FOR THE FIRST TIME.

  3. I am a Hines from the Hynes-Hines Family from Muhlenberg Co, Ky… I have been tracing my family line from Texas back to Benton Co, Mo back now to Muhlenberg Co, Ky where I have hit a brick wall.. My GG Grandfather Benajah H. Hines civil war papers state he was born in Muhlenberg Co, Ky. in abt 1820 / 1825. I am trying to find who his parents where.. With you showing Lydia Ann Doss/Hynes/Hines coming to Benton Co, Mo. This makes me even more sure that one of William Hardy Hynes Sr. son’s was my GG Grandfather’s Dad. But which one??

    • I wish I could help you. Good luck.

  4. I find this information very interesting. My g-g-grandmother was Louisa (Doss) Blair, shown as the daughter of Azariah’s 7th child, Gabriel. The letter from Lydia Ann (Doss) Hynes was mailed from Blairsville, Posey Co., Indiana. Louisa married James Wiley Blair for whose family the “town” was named. The location of where the letter was sent brings it all together for me. Louisa and Wiley Blair then followed Wiley’s brother Stephen Blair to Illinois. They ran a mill there as they had done in Indiana. This location was named Blairsville, also. Blairsville in Williamson Co., Illinois.

  5. A very thorough and informative posting, thank you! Will definitely be saving this. I am researching Galen R.E. Doss (b. 1829, Pulaski Co, KY), son of Austin L. Doss (b. 1805, Virginia), but have failed to link either of them to the families you describe here. The search continues.

  6. Regarding Hannah Doss, daughter of Azariah and Lydia: Hannah’s son James Leftwich Doss was born long before she married William Hundley. (Hence, he does not have the Hundley surname.) James Leftwich Doss was probably born about 1801-1805. James Leftwich Doss was the illegitimate offspring of James Leftwich of Bedford County. This has now been proven via DNA testing. The male descendants of James Leftwich Doss carry Y-DNA that is neither Doss nor Hundley — but, rather, Leftwich.

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